james, william

Cultural Dictionary

James, William definition


An American philosopher and psychologist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was one of the first theorists to suggest that humans, like other animals, possess instincts. He also opposed then-dominant views by arguing that human identity is grounded not in metaphysics but in behavior.

Note: Novelist Henry James was William James's brother.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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